Violation of German rest break regulation criteria and health complaints while working in the office and from home

Johannes Wendsche, Andrea Lohmann-Haislah, Anika Schulz, Ina Schöllgen

The aim of this survey study (n = 534) was to clarify if work from home (WFH) affects employees’ compliance with six German mandatory rest break regulations and how this relates to health complaints. 92% reported at least one violation of these rest break principles. WFH (frequency) did not affect the (non-)compliance with these regulations but was associated with increased risk for muscular tension. Frequent break skipping increased risk of headache. Noncompliance with three or more of these rest break criteria related to risk of depressive mood and headache, and noncompliance related to risk of exhaustion in a dose-response relationships. WFH does not relate to violation of German rest break regulation criteria but is associated to musculoskeletal complaints. Organizations should improve employees’ compliance with national break standards since this can reduce health risks.

Keywords: COVID-19, home office, rest breaks, telework, work from home

Vol. 2/2022 - Article 2.2


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